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Question and Answer: What should I do when my toddler needs more motivation to use the potty?

Question: "My child is going on three years old in April. She was doing so well with potty training then stopped.She does not want any thing to do with going on the potty. I have tried every thing to help her. She does not seem to mind the potty. She loves to play in the bath room with the potty and sink. but ,when it comes down to going she completely refuses."

Answer: Since she was doing well, it sounds like she is in a power struggle with you. The key is to find some "currency" that will motivate her to make the decision on her own rather than feeling like it is her parents "making" her do something. (Toddlers are sure know for being stubborn!)The first thing you can try is a "present bag." Get a bunch of small gifts and stick them in a box or bag and place where she can't see inside. Tell her that if she is a big girl and uses the potty, she gets a present from the bag. It's up to her.....most children can't refuse the temptation of a gift - especially if it is new and different each time. Then stand back and see what happens! Believe it or not, it's also easy to wean the kids off of the gifts once they are using the potty reliably. (No kidding :) )Hope that helps!

Suzanne Riffel, author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers"
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